Felipe Massa’s hopes of a change of fortune in 2011 took a knock when the F150 caught fire within an hour of the start of testing in Valencia.
It was the normal sort of testing problem – something coming adrift and dumping oil onto the hot exhaust – but it took a few hours to repair the damage caused. Nevertheless after he did get out he managed to log a total of 80 laps.
“We had a problem right at the start of the morning, when I was out on very old tyres,” said. Felipe. “It was not nice having to stop pretty much before I’d started the real work, but then, it was a relief to find out it was nothing that serious. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of time and, in the afternoon I tried to make up for it and get a feeling for the new car.”
Having been fast in the Abu Dhabi test in November, he made some interesting observations about the tyres.
“I am pleased with how they behaved. I think that the fact there is a definite level of degradation is a positive thing in terms of the spectacle. It’s a shame I wasn’t able to do more laps, but the feeling I had was similar to the one from Abu Dhabi, even if that was at the wheel of a very different car.
“In my opinion, there is not that much that needs changing and I think Pirelli is working in the right direction. We did not try the hardest tyre here, because this track is not best suited to them: when we have done that, then it will be possible to give a more complete evaluation of them.”